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The UFO Phenomenon

Roswell Incident

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Major Jesse Marcel with the Roswell debris.
Major Jesse Marcel with the Roswell debris. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 4.0 / University of Texas
FACTUAL ANALYSIS: To this day, the Roswell incident remains a hotly debated and contentious topic. Even though the military has officially pinned blame on a crashed surveillance balloon, a definitive account of the events that took place near Roswell in 1947 remains elusive.
The Roswell incident is the name given to a series of events involving a crashed UFO and the recovery of alleged extraterrestrial bodies at a ranch near Roswell, New Mexico in 1947.

In June of that year, several weeks before the official press release, William Brazel - a foreman working on the Foster homestead - discovered a quantity of strange debris spread out approximately 30 miles north of Roswell. He returned with his family on July 4th to gather some of it up, but after hearing reports about 'flying discs' he decided to mention it to Sheriff George Wilcox.

Wilcox then spoke to RAAF Major Jesse Marcel who, alongside Captain Sheridan Cavitt, came to examine the debris for himself. After collecting some of the material, Marcel took it to Colonel William Blanchard who, in turn, reported the incident to General Roger Ramey at Fort Worth.

In an official announcement on July 8th, public information officer Walter Haut declared that a "flying disc" had been found in the area. By the time the story had been broadcast on Roswell radio station KSWS, the news had reached the Associated Press and word had begun to spread fast.
The cover-up

Keen to play down the incident, General Ramey, along with his chief of staff Colonel Thomas Dubose and weather officer Irving Newton, held a press conference on July 8th declaring that the object that had come down near Roswell had in fact been little more than a weather balloon.

At the time, this resulted in the story being mostly dropped by the media and apart from a few articles reporting on the weather balloon crash, the incident was mostly forgotten.

The mystery deepens

The events that took place near Roswell in 1947 would go on to be forgotten for several decades until stories and witness testimonies began to emerge suggesting that a lot more had taken place than the military had let on and that the object that crashed was no weather balloon.

In 1978, UFO researcher and author Stanton Friedman interviewed Jesse Marcel - the army officer who had witnessed the debris first-hand and had accompanied it back to Forth Worth.

He maintained that the weather balloon story was just a cover-up and that the object that had crashed was in fact an extraterrestrial spacecraft.

As time went on, more and more purported witnesses of the events at Roswell came forward, each with their own stories to tell.

Some described witnessing alien bodies being taken from the crash site, while others reported that the recovered debris had possessed peculiar qualities found in no known terrestrial materials.

In 1989, former mortician Glenn Dennis told Stanton Friedman that he had received several calls at the time of the incident from Fort Worth asking him about body preservation.

He even spoke to a nurse who claimed to have witnessed an autopsy being carried out on an alien body. Several other witnesses later reported seeing alleged alien bodies being transported.
Official response

To this day, there has never been a formal acknowledgement that the object that crashed near Roswell in 1947 was anything other than a balloon. In 1993, an inquiry initiated by New Mexico congressman Steven Schiff concluded that the object was a high-altitude surveillance balloon launched as part of a secretive program known as Project Mogul. The clandestine nature of the project was said to explain why the military had been so keen to cover it up as a simple 'weather balloon'.

While this explanation has satisfied many, there are still a great number of people who believe that something much more significant had taken place.

As things stand, the truth of what happened in Roswell in 1947 remains elusive.

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